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ENQUIRIES (03) 5229 0004

Welcome to Iona College Geelong

I would like to take this opportunity to officially welcome you to Iona College Geelong. It is a great privilege to have been appointed as the Foundation Principal for the College and with the arrival of the new year I am excited to begin this new journey.

It is my intention to provide you with regular updates on the progress of our College over the months ahead.

Briefly, I would like to introduce myself. I originally hail from a wheat and sheep farm in the Wimmera (St Arnaud). My parents soon realised that I would make a poor farmer and encouraged me to pursue tertiary studies in Commerce and Education. Whilst I have taught in six Catholic Secondary College’s in the country and metropolitan areas, Iona College Geelong will be my third Principalship, after four and a half years as head at Trinity College Colac and the past nine years at Clonard College Geelong.

I love my job! It is a delight to work with and make a difference to the lives of our young people. I have gained two Masters degrees, one in Educational Leadership and the other, an Executive Masters of Business Administration. I am married to Annalee a small business proprietor/secondary teacher and have two children; Sam (Year 9) at St Joseph’s College and Gracie (Year 7) at Clonard. Whilst my interests surround my children’s sport, I am known to be a mad passionate Hawthorn supporter.

Much has already been achieved in the development of our new College. As you can see from this email, we have developed a visual identity and logo for Iona. At the heart of our logo is a cross which represents the Celtic Cross of St Columba of Iona who established the Monastery on the Scottish island of Iona in the 500’s AD. We have already begun the process of designing our college uniform and I look forward to sharing more about that and our college identity shortly.

Our school motto will be “Learning to change the world,” an aspirational statement for our students to reach as they undertake their education at Iona.

Our new website is now live and our Facebook page has been updated with our new logo. The website, Facebook page and social media are where you will find all our updates on college developments so I encourage you to take a look, sign up for news alerts and encourage anyone you know with an interest in Iona to sign up also.

Following a tender process, a builder has been selected and stage one construction has begun onsite. The first stage of building involves the $28 million-dollar development of learning, collaborative and specialist spaces to cater specifically for the junior years. We were also very lucky to receive an election commitment from the state government of $6 million to develop an AFL standard oval, pavilion and associated facilities. So, our first group of year sevens will begin their Iona education with brand new state of the art facilities that will enhance their learning opportunities.

I have been inundated with much interest about our new College. First of all, I should note that the College will commence operations on the first day of the 2020 school year. We will start with Year 7 only (approximately 130 students) and each year will add an additional Year level as we build the College. In 2025 we will offer Year 12 for the first time and I am hoping not to have gained any grey hairs in that time!  I will be spending the 2019 school year overseeing the building, recruiting students/staff and of course developing the educational program.

We have the wonderful opportunity to develop an amazing culture that will be supported by Foundation Staff, who will ensure that student learning and wellbeing are our core purpose. The establishment of Iona College is a chance not to be constrained by some of the educational barriers that exist in other schools, rather, we will forge a unique identity and ensure that our student’s capabilities are maximised academically, socially, physically and spiritually.

Finally, I would encourage you to spread the word about Iona College Geelong. Online enrolments (Year 7-2020) will open via the enrolment section on our website Wednesday 16 January. I am preparing materials to offer families a ‘virtual tour’ of the college and we will be opening an office onsite shortly to host these tours. Please call or email me to schedule a meeting.

Should you wish to speak to someone, the College can be contacted on (03) 5229 0004.

I look forward to keeping you updated in the future about this most exciting development.

Yours sincerely

Damian McKew
Foundation Principal

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